|Saturday, July 13, 2002
|It's time for Halloween again
|With some nifty, suspenseful moments, "Halloween: Resurrection" proves its franchise is as hard to kill as Michael Myers.
By BETH JONES
THE ROANOKE TIMES
"Halloween: Resurrection" seemed sure to be a stinker.
For one thing, the movie is the eighth installment of the Michael Myers series and horror films tend to go downhill with each new sequel. For proof, rent "Jason X," the 10th film in the "Friday the 13th" series.
Then there's the report that "Resurrection" was set to be released last fall, but was postponed so scenes could be reshot. Finally, it wasn't screened in advance for critics - which generally means the studio execs knows their movie is a bomb and want a few days to score some cash before the negative reviews hit the street.
Yet, while not exactly quality cinema, "Resurrection" isn't nearly as terrible as it could have been. The story is mildly satisfying and it offers some truly suspenseful moments.
As soon as the movie opens, the script by Larry Brand and Sean Hood rushes to explain that Myers didn't really die in the 1998 "Halloween" installment, "H2O." It turns out Jamie Lee Curtis killed another man who was wearing a similar mask. Whatever.
From here on out, we should all just assume that anyone who dies in a "Halloween" movie may, in the next edition, come back to life, like Kenny in television's "South Park" before he finally was killed off for good.
Curtis makes a brief appearance at the beginning of "Resurrection," and it's easily the scariest and most artful segment of the film. The story suggests that this will be her final appearance as Myers' sister, Laurie Strode, but who knows? She may pull a Kenny and come back for "Halloween Nine."
Things go slightly downhill from there. Six collegians are selected to be the subjects of a reality Internet site (sort of like MTV's "Real World," only online). Because of the computer connection, the movie was almost given the pathetically lame title "Halloween: MichaelMyers.com." But director Rick Rosenthal does use technology to his advantage. During Friday's screening, some members of the audience jumped when the words "He's still alive" popped up on one character's Palm Pilot.
At any rate, their assignment is to spend the night in Myers' childhood home on the night of Halloween. It probably would have been better if the movie had been released in the fall, as it's slightly disorienting to see pumpkins and youngsters dressed in costumes in July. But we digress.
A number of the movie's young twentysomethings are bland and unusually homely as far as movie actors go. Especially annoying is Jim (Luke Kirby), who spends the entire movie doing a bad Jack Nicholson impression.
One charming exception is Rudy (the talented Sean Patrick Thomas), who loves food and blames Myers' homicidal tendencies on a diet low in protein. Bianca Kajlich, the heroine who may just be smart enough to escape Myers' shining knife, is quite good. Rapper Busta Rhymes and model Tyra Banks give adequate performances as the producers of the Web site.
More than two decades ago, Rosenthal directed "Halloween II." He clearly has a solid feel for the material.
The most frightening thing about Myers has never been his knife. Rosenthal understands that what's even scarier is Myers' cold calculation. He puts more energy into showing us that - like the numerous scenes where he zooms in on Myers taking careful, slow steps toward his victims - than orchestrating elaborate slasher shots.
Rosenthal won't take home any awards for his work in "Resurrection." But fans of the "Halloween" series will walk away satisfied with his work.
Beth Jones can be reached
at 777-6493 or email@example.com.
A Dimension Films release showing at Valley View Grande 16 and Salem Valley 8. Rated R for strong violence, language, brief nudity and brief drug use. One hour, 24 minutes.